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Union

Is 26 too late? (another where to start thread)

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Hello. I would like to start off by saying how grateful I am to have found this site. The wealth of resources here are staggering, and I plan on devouring as much as possible during the coming weeks, and months(and years?). I am here because I have always wanted to pursue a career in the gaming industry. I assume my reasons for finding my way here are not too unique. I am very interested in the project management and production side of Game Development, as well as the creative avenues of writing and story development. After a lengthy stint working a dead end job, feigning a music career and pursing an extended adolescence, I am finally coming to grips with reality of the time I've wasted (cue violins). I have made some important changes and I am headed back to school this winter. I have read a great deal on Game Development and have decided that it would be an extremely rewarding and lucrative career. I have a passion for games, a knack for leadership, a high-threshold for pain, and loads of creative energy. Soo.. here is where I am at. I fully understand that nobody jumps into the gaming business (or any business) as a Producer or Product Manager. I am fully willing to dedicate myself to travelling through the proper channels in order to create a career for myself in the Gaming Business. I plan to get the proper education. Find a good QA job, and work my way up. But at age 26 I am a bit behind. This is a fact that I am painfully aware of. My question is where should I start? I am interested in the Business, CS and IT fields as practical areas of study. I have never considered myself a programmer, and I figure at age 26 I am only proficient in basic HTML programing, so perhaps C++ scripting might not be a very feasible career path. I have considered going the pure business study path, but I am concerned that I will be under-qualified when it comes to the nuts and bolts of Game Development. Any advice you folks have would be wildly appreciated. I'm sure I'm not the first person to come here with a big dream of Gamedev Success. Sorry if my story is a tired one. I am at a new beginning of sorts and I am anxious to get on my way, so to speak. Thanks a Ton! Union.

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When you're not at school, try to learn something about every profession involved in games. Learn to code a bit, and learn your way around art/music tools. If you can understand the people (and what they work on) that you're supervising, you'll probably end up being closer to your "underlings" and the game, and you'll be a better producer because of it. The game will likely also end up funner and thus will sell better (this extrapolated from stories I've heard about the industry, not actually experienced it for myself).

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Thanks for the advice.

Being involved in the D.I.Y. music scene for the last 10 years. I am very familiar with Music and Art tools. (Pro Tools, Cakewalk, Reason, Photoshop, Illustrator, ect.)

I suppose I get so caught up in my lack of programming knowledge that I forget about what I DO know.

Anyhow, I certainly will make every attempt to wrap my brain around all aspects of the development process. Thanks again for the tip.

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26 isn't too late for any career except maybe athletics ...

One more thing to add to the list of areas relevant to study - game design for normal (non-computer) games (like the stuff sold at funagain.com). board games and strategy games, card games, role playing games, etc. Fiction and technical writing. Communication through visual design.

So many aspects are brought together in the good games these days and each good producer and designer type brings different skills to the table beyond the obvious ones (people and management skills for producers, creative and critical design skills for designers).

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